The quote from A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh– I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost – rightly defines the status quo of a young adult. Ranging between l8 to 30s, young adults, they are trying to figure out how to be an adult. High on hormones and figuring to take control of their live, their struggles range from conflicts between their dreams & their parents’ ambitions and the constant changing personal equations with everyone they know.
For young adults these days, competition starts from the day one is born. Right from getting into the right educational institutes & high grades to getting & sustaining jobs, all have stiff competition & rising prices. Social media adds to these challenges. Keeping off it is virtually impossible as it directly affects their professional & personal life.
In everything, loneliness affects them more. Apart from staying away from family & friends, the above-mentioned dilemmas add to it. Inability of sustaining relationships and casual attitude towards their love life means less strong connections. Little emotional support from narrow social circle can be a problem.
The present young adults have their social equations changed with technological advancement. Physical interpersonal relationships including friendships have changed. Young adults are using technology extensively and in bargain have lost out on living life.
Their issues have been hit by the pandemic. An August 2020 US report spoke of rise of anxiety & depression amongst young adults. Undergrad & grad students are finding it difficult to access their usual mental health care. The report speaks of job losses being higher resulting in loss of health benefits, job structure and purpose. The vital workplace socialisation that has an effect on personal bonds and workplace performance has been threatened too.
As per more studies in November 2020, young adults especially those under 24 are the loneliest due to the restrictions. Suicidal thoughts seen are thought to be due to a rather tiny social circle, spending time alone, and living a single life with little family life. The fear of not having a life filled with friends, family & love, little interaction and thoughts of no future is creating havoc on their mental health. Lack of proper connectivity between young adults and their loved one is making them rethink about social connections, lasting friendships and other aspects of their social life.
In India, the National Sample Survey Office declared that in 2004, around 4.91 million live alone and are dealing with loneliness. In 2015-16, the National Mental Health Survey of India has showed concern with the rising risk of suicidal tendencies.
DEALING WITH ISSUES
Acknowledging the issue and then resolving them is vital. Being kind towards oneself will also help. The ‘Me Time’ is a great leveller to help build life; think within and then seek help.
Reach Out to True Friends
For any young adult to truly lessen the mental effects of pandemic, speaking out with your loved ones is THE thing to do, whether it is your family & friends or similar minded people. Relive the bottled-up emotions & confusion to feel relaxed. Benefits of having good friends are countless. One can avoid mental & physical trauma of social isolation & loneliness. Friends are the perfect antidote to stress issues and are the backbone in dealing with emotional troubles. For young adults these days, the group of friends become a tribe which sticks to each other in good times and bad. In fact, a 2017 research that looked at over 2,000 + young adults found out that that good friendship helps one become tough, deal with bad incidences and can help in long-term resilience.
Loneliness mostly comes from attaching oneself to others and concepts of being unlovable if others reject us. Once you know happiness & self-worth comes from within, you stop becoming a prisoner of loneliness & related lonely ideas. You can also jot your issues on anything without inhibitions in a diary to your computer. Read it later to get a new perspective.
Head for Mindfulness
To reduce loneliness coming from attachment, exercise mindfulness. Once you remove the illusion that happiness comes from others, you focus on your own happiness. Your loved ones are just the mirror of your own happiness. There are many methods to mindfulness. Practice living in the present and savouring it. Introspection and seeking personal happiness will connect with others better.
Better Technology Usage
Use technology often for non-work related online events from hobby classes, book reading to music lists and movie discussions, for a get-together. The mood lightens and everyone learns something.
Organise small walks or meets occasionally within precautionary measures in the pandemic times. Have conversations about feelings, work, studies and other issues. Just keep the tone civil & positive to fight adverse times. A little revelation of your vulnerability to true friends will help solve issues.
With busy lifestyle, many are not very connected with the neighbourhood. Try going on walks to meet people. Small talks help connect with people better. Once in a while, send each other physical items like food or personal cards. A little bit of niceness can go long way to reduce the effects of pandemic and related negativity.
Watch out for the young adults around you and reach out to them for any kind help or guidance. In these trying times it is important to help people and be empathetic towards them.
About Author: Mr. Benjamin Blasco – Founder, Petit Bambou